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Clustering and firm performance in project-based industries: The case of the global video game industry, 1972-2007

Author

Listed:
  • Mathijs De Vaan
  • Ron Boschma

    ()

  • Koen Frenken

    ()

Abstract

Explanations of spatial clustering based on localization externalities are being questioned by recent empirical evidence showing that firms in clusters do not outperform firms outside clusters. We propose that these findings may be driven by the particularities of the industrial settings chosen in these studies. We argue that in project-based industries, negative localization externalities associated with competition grow proportionally with cluster size, while positive localization externalities increase more than proportionally related to cluster size. By studying the survival patterns of 4,607 firms and 1,229 subsidiaries in the global video game industry, we find that the net effect of clustering becomes positive after a cluster reaches a critical size. We further unravel the subtleties of the video game industry by differentiating between exits by failure and exit by acquisition, and conclude that being acquired is best considered as a sign of success rather than as a business failure.

Suggested Citation

  • Mathijs De Vaan & Ron Boschma & Koen Frenken, 2012. "Clustering and firm performance in project-based industries: The case of the global video game industry, 1972-2007," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1221, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Nov 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:1221
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    File URL: http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg1221.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ron Boschma & Koen Frenken, 2011. "The emerging empirics of evolutionary economic geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 295-307, March.
    2. Engwall, Mats, 2003. "No project is an island: linking projects to history and context," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 789-808, May.
    3. Ron A. Boschma & Rik Wenting, 2007. "The spatial evolution of the British automobile industry: Does location matter?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 213-238, April.
    4. Cooke, Philip & Gomez Uranga, Mikel & Etxebarria, Goio, 1997. "Regional innovation systems: Institutional and organisational dimensions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4-5), pages 475-491, December.
    5. Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2001. "Knowledge Spillovers and Local Innovation Systems: A Critical Survey," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 975-1005, December.
    6. Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Mathijs De Vaan & Ron Boschma, 2013. "The dynamics of interfirm networks along the industry life cycle: The case of the global video game industry, 1987--2007," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(5), pages 741-765, September.
    7. Guido Buenstorf & Christina Guenther, 2011. "No place like home? Relocation, capabilities, and firm survival in the German machine tool industry after World War II," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 1-28, February.
    8. Agarwal, Rajshree & Gort, Michael, 1996. "The Evolution of Markets and Entry, Exit and Survival of Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(3), pages 489-498, August.
    9. Stephen Appold, 2005. "Location Patterns of US Industrial Research: Mimetic Isomorphism and the Emergence of Geographic Charisma," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 17-39.
    10. Agrawal, Ajay & Cockburn, Iain, 2003. "The anchor tenant hypothesis: exploring the role of large, local, R&D-intensive firms in regional innovation systems," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 1227-1253, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ron Boschma & Matté Hartog, 2014. "Merger and Acquisition Activity as Driver of Spatial Clustering: The Spatial Evolution of the Dutch Banking Industry, 1850–1993," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 90(3), pages 247-266, July.
    2. Canfei He & Qi Guo & David Rigby, 2015. "Industry Relatedness, Agglomeration Externalities and Firm Survival in China," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1528, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Sep 2015.
    3. Andrea Morrison & Ron Boschma, 2017. "The spatial evolution of the Italian motorcycle industry (1893-1993): KlepperÕs heritage theory revisited," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1707, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Mar 2017.
    4. Amel Ben Abdesslem & Raphaël Chiappini, 2016. "Cluster Policy and Firm Performance: A Case Study of the French Optic/Photonic Industry," GREDEG Working Papers 2016-26, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    5. Thomas Brenner & Johann Peter Murmann, 2016. "Using simulation experiments to test historical explanations: the development of the German dye industry 1857-1913," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 907-932, October.
    6. Ron Boschma, 2015. "Do spinoff dynamics or agglomeration externalities drive industry clustering? A reappraisal of Steven Klepper’s work," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 859-873.
    7. repec:eee:joreco:v:28:y:2016:i:c:p:219-227 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Jean Dubé & Cédric Brunelle, 2014. "Dots to dots: a general methodology to build local indicators using spatial micro-data," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 53(1), pages 245-272, August.
    9. Antoine Habersetzer, Rikard Eriksson, Heike Mayer, 2017. "Entrepreneurship in the periphery: The role of pre-entry experience and home advantage for newly founded firms," Diskussionsschriften credresearchpaper14, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft - CRED.
    10. Hervas Oliver,Jose Luis & Gonzalez,Gregorio & Caja,Pedro, 2014. "Clusters and industrial districts: where is the literature going? Identifying emerging sub-fields of research," INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) Working Paper Series 201409, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    localization externalities; survival analysis; acquisition; spinoff; cluster; video game industry;

    JEL classification:

    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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